Twitter: 40404 No More? [STRATEGY]

Twitter isn’t content to remain a microblogging platform. Once limited to 140 characters and unusual symbols because of its roots in text messaging, the company is now reaching out and embracing broader social networking functionality.

I remember the days when you would engage with Twitter either on or by texting your messages with a series of bizarre DOS-like commands to 40404. It looks like this sort of thing is being relegated to the past.

The social media company announced that it is offering new tools and a redesign that will make it easier for users to enjoy the platform … and ostensibly for marketers to advertise on it.

According to The Associated Press, Twitter ‘is also expanding users’ profile pages to accommodate more detailed information about brands in text, photos and video as Twitter tries to convert more companies into advertisers.’

It’s not a bad move, given advertiser demand for the product. Twitter chief revenue officer Adam Bain said last week that the company has surged to 2,400 advertisers from 1,600 back in the spring and boasts an 80 percent client retention rate. By making the platform more powerful for these companies, revenue is likely to soar.

Twitter is tracking to $140 mn in revenue this year, and eMarketer forecasts $260 mn next year. Of course, this is well behind Facebook’s $4.27 bn revenue expectation for 2011 and $5.8 bn forecast for 2012.

But, that doesn’t mean Twitter isn’t doing it right. In fact, it looks to me like Twitter has the (far) better advertising platform.

Right now, there isn’t much advertisers can do on Facebok, given the limited alternatives (two) and the small ad avails. Visual impact is virtually impossible, as is flexibility. Twitter, meanwhile, is developing ways for advertisers to get more options and increase the results from them. Increased results, of course, lead to increased advertiser spend in the future.

So, a better user experience (easier navigation and richer media) leads to a better advertiser experience. And it leads to a wealthier Twitter.

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Source: Associated Press

Photo: Coletivo Mambembe via Flickr